Tube trains have made their first test trips along the Northern line extension to Battersea over the Christmas break.
The Northern line passenger trains entered the new 3.2km tunnels at Kennington, travelling through the newly constructed step-plate junction that connects the existing Northern line tunnels to the extension. The trains then continued to Nine Elms Tube station before arriving at the extension’s second new station at Battersea Power Station. They then turned around using the new crossover junction to complete the journey back to Kennington.
Battery-powered engineering trains have travelled through the Northern Line extension since last Summer, but this was the first trial of a powered passenger train down the tunnels.
Stuart Harvey, TfL’s Director of Major Projects, said: “Seeing a Northern line train travelling through the extension for the first time is a really significant milestone and demonstrates the commitment of our brilliant team who have been working so hard during such a challenging year.”
Work to finish the extension is now focused on completing necessary signalling software upgrades and the fit-out of the two new stations – at Nine Elms and Battersea. The extension was due to open last year remains on target for its revised completion in the autumn of this year.
The £1.2 billion extension is being funded by a mix of developer contributions and borrowing against future business rates to be collected from the Nine Elms Enterprise Zone that was set up in 2016 and due to exist for 25 years.